Number of missing UHIP applications pegged at 3,600

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Rhode Island leaders disclosed Friday that they have discovered more than 3,600 applications for benefits that had been lost due to problems with the troubled UHIP computer system.

State leaders revealed last month that Deloitte, the vendor that built UHIP, had informed them about a previously unknown bug in the system that caused applications to go missing, but until Friday they had been unable to put a number on the problem.

According to data from the R.I. Department of Human Services (DHS), there are currently 7,342 pending applications for benefits including SNAP benefits for food, long-term care, and Medicaid. More than 4,300 of those applications are overdue.

DHS estimates an additional 1,100 applications have not been registered into the system.

According to numbers reported in September, the state previously believed the backlog had dropped to 3,734.

DHS Director Courtney Hawkins said in a statement, “The State is laser-focused on reducing the backlog and getting the system back on track for those Rhode Islanders who need us.”

Deloitte expects all of the newly discovered applications to be processed before the end of the year, according to DHS.

Since it launched in Sept. 2016, the UHIP system has been riddled with issues that have affected benefits for tens of thousands of Rhode Islanders. Months after its launch, Gov. Gina Raimondo apologized for the problematic roll-out and promised a turnaround.

Earlier this month, a federal judge appointed Deming Sherman to serve as a special master in a lawsuit over food stamp delays caused by UHIP. The ACLU claims the state is violating federal law by not processing food-stamp applications in a timely fashion.